Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Ideally, CSR policy would function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby business would monitor and ensure its adherence to law, ethical standards, and international norms. Business would embrace responsibility for the impact of their activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere.
Advantages Brand differentiation In crowded marketplaces, companies strive for a unique selling proposition that can separate them from the competition in the minds of consumers. CSR can play a role in building customer loyalty based on distinctive ethical values. Several major brands, such as The Co-operative Group, The Body Shop and American Apparel are built on ethical values. Business service organizations can benefit too from building a reputation for integrity and best practice.
Advantages License to operate Corporations are keen to avoid interference in their business through taxation or regulations. By taking substantive voluntary steps, they can persuade governments and the wider public that they are taking issues such as health and safety, diversity, or the environment seriously as good corporate citizens with respect to labor standards and impacts on the environment.
“Guy going from one side of the canyon to the other… a lot of clouds like fog. The point is going from one way of doing business to another is very tough. There’s a lot uncertainty. It takes a lot of skill, but we have to lift ourselves beyond that, above the fog, and that’s not going to be a simple exercise. CSR is about seeing the forest, the fog, and seeing how we can get on the other side, and how we can be well-equipped for doing that. So probably we need to develop additional skills, knowledge, and understanding.”
“The message is that whatever we do today will have an impact on future generations. It’s not just my kids or your kids or somebody else’s. It’s future generations. We should not hope that the walls we build to protect ourselves will be tall enough to protect our children. Only with very conscious effort we can make the world for them a better place to live…even if we address our most selfish needs we have to address the needs of the next generation. That’s what CSR is about.”
Case Study Jack Cohen founded Tesco in 1919 when he began to sell surplus groceries from a stall in the East End of London.The Tesco brand first appeared in 1924. The name came about after Jack Cohen bought a shipment of tea from T.E. Stockwell. He made new labels using the first three letters of the supplier's name (TES), and the first two letters of his surname (CO), forming the word TESCO.The first Tesco store was opened in 1929 in Burnt Oak, Edgware, Middlesex. Tesco was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1947 as Tesco Stores (Holdings) Limited.
Tesco has made a commitment to corporate social responsibility, in the form of contributions of 1.87% in 2006 of its pre-tax profits to charities/local community organisations.
In 1992 Tesco started a "computers for schools scheme", offering computers in return for schools and hospitals getting vouchers from people who shopped at Tesco. Until 2004, £92 million of equipment went to these organisations. The scheme has been also implemented in Poland.
Starting during the 2005/2006 football season the company now sponsors the Tesco Cup, a football competition for young players throughout the UK. The cup now runs a boy's competition at Under 13 level and two girl's cups at Under 14 level and Under 16 level. Over 40,000 boys alone took part in the 2007/08 competitions.
In 2009 Tesco used “Change for Good” as advertising, which is trade marked by Unicef for charity usage but is not trademarked for commercial or retail use which prompted the agency to say "it is the first time in Unicef’s history that a commercial entity has purposely set out to capitalise on one of our campaigns and subsequently damage an income stream which several of our programmes for children are dependent on”.